NEW ORLEANS -- — Two years ago, Ravens assistant coach Andy Moeller was promoted to offensive line coach with the understanding that his continued employment hinged on remaining out of trouble.
Arrested in Baltimore County in September of 2010 on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol and convicted in April of 2011, Moeller was sentenced to two years of supervised probation. He was also ordered to continue to abstain from alcohol, subject himself to random drug and alcohol testing and attend Alcoholic Anonymous meetings.
At the time, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti stated that Moeller was down to his last strike.
"Obviously, it’s a very personal issue," Bisciotti said. "As long as he is doing what he is expected to do, then he has our support, the caveat being that it’s his last chance, and he knows that. I don’t think he would mind me saying that.
“He’s either going to get it under control, or he’s going to spend a lifetime in misery like other people that are affected by that. So, we’re behind him as long as he earns that trust and continues to earn that trust. But, he knows he’s one step away from not being a Raven, and then probably not being in the NFL at all.”
Moeller, whose father, Gary Moeller, resigned many years ago as the University of Michigan coach after an alcohol-related incident, has justified the Ravens' faith, not getting in any further trouble and doing a good job overseeing the offensive line.
"This organization has treated me awesome," said Moeller, whose linemen have allowed just four sacks in three playoff victories. "They have been really good to me. That's something that's special about the Ravens."
Moeller's dedication to his sobriety, and his players hasn't gone unnoticed.
"I think, first and foremost, we're all human and we all go through adversity in our life," veteran offensive guard Bobbie Williams said. "As far as just sitting back and watching coach Moeller, this is a guy who has given his all to make sure the game plan is right for us. He cares.
"He will go to war for his guy. He's a good person. He has a real good spirit about him. Off the field, he got the guys together around the Christmas holidays for an offensive line dinner where you could bring your families. It was nice."
The former All-Big Ten Conference linebacker has slept at the Ravens' training complex overnight several times to put in extra work.
"Andy watches a ton of film, he has slept at the building a bunch of times," offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie said. "We knew it because it was snowing and his car was covered with snow. So, we knew he was there all night.
"He's been really dedicated to being the best coach he can be. He's a nice guy. We care about him a lot, and he cares about us."
The Ravens' offensive line has excelled during the playoffs while dealing with standout pass rushers, including Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil, Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis.
With Moeller coaching the linemen, they've excelled.
"This playoff run has been nothing short of remarkable," Williams said. "You got to give credit to coach Moeller, and we'll give [assistant offensive line coach] Todd [Washington] credit, too."
Now, Moeller is preparing for Sunday night's Super Bowl against the San Francisco 49ers and their front seven headlined by linebackers Patrick Willis, Aldon Smith and Navorro Bowman and defensive lineman Justin Smith.
"It's going to be fun," Moeller said. "It's certainly the biggest game I've ever been in."